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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  June 6, 2014 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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>> good evening. with aa conversation biographer. this has unreleased fbi files about one of the most controversial and important leaders in the civil rights movement. we will turn to a conversation with an actress, tatiana. she is in the show "orphan black." that conversation is coming up right now. ♪
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>> and, by contributions to your pbs station by viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> you are being placed under arrest. >> we do not want anyone to move. the time for running has come to an end. tell the black people in mississippi to not be scared today. you tell them that they are
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dealing with some men. did i just see stokely carmichael say that all of the scared -- are dead? >> yeah. stokely carmichael was making a galvanizing speech. he was at the front of the civil rights movement. he was arrested 27 times for his civil rights activities. carmichael's life is the subject of a biography. el e. joseph. good to have you on this program. >> thank you to have made. -- for having me. tavis: that is some strong language from this person that we know as america's he's maker. -- peacemaker.
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>> it is significant of king and carmichael's relationship. they mentor each other and become the union and yang will we think about the second half of the 1960's and the black freedom struggle. a frictions always and tension between the two of them. they love each other. they were friends with each other. there was a tension and a friction between nonviolent and the other way. tell me about that dialectic. tostokely carmichael comes the united states in 1941 and is part of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. he is a young activist and is arrested 27 times. he starts to argue that black people need to have radical political self-determination.
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he is militantly nonviolent and, over time, that transforms. tavis: why? >> because of the experiences. he sees people getting murdered. one of his dear friends is a white activist, named johnson daniels. that has a transformative effect. he thinks that african-americans have to fight back. tavis: how to see come to being abdicate in the first place -- advocate in the first place? well, it is his background. his mother is a huge influence. she is from trinidad. his father is a carpenter. a hard-working black man who is very religious. he starts to identify with underdogs. he goes one the best high schools in new york city. the civil rights organizer of
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the march on washington becomes the mentor. he sees his speech and asked who it is. he says, that is who i want to be. tavis: what is the scourge come from? -- this courage come from? when you can have this kind of courage and commitment, where does that come from? >> it is coming from his mother. rican sense off who he is. he is listening to the international south african singer and is influenced by harry belafonte he, dr. king, malcolm x. all of those things come in. he has a deep love of poor black people and a deep love of social justice. tavis: how much of his path, versus the path of king that we know so well -- and we will come
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of his pathow much has to do with his age? was dead at 39. bywas seen as old and passé the black power generation. how much of that has to do with his age and era? he is 19 when he is arrested and is a young man. by the time he is a revolutionary, he is 24 years old. he goes to africa in london -- and london and is hanging out with dr. king and dr. benjamin spock. he is having an amazing life. he becomes the leader of a youth movement that is not just black.
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students for a democratic society. stokely becomes the leading anti-war protester in the united states. tavis: in many ways, he pushes dr. chang in the direction of being warble will -- dr. kane in the direction of being more vo cal. >> the headline and enormous rally that is the most important rally in the 1960's. dr. king, stokely, benjamin spock are all there. in a way, stokely upstages dr. king. king ands teasing dr. says, my activism is one of the reasons you are coming out against the war. tavis: you know that i love dr.
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king. greatesthim as the american that this country has ever produced and that is my own assessment. i will be the first to tell you that stokely. him that day. when you see stokely's s peech, he killed it that day. >> their deep friendship is connected to the vietnam war protest. dr. king calls up stokely to invite him and he says that he is coming and is going to be in the front row. ovationis leading the for dr. king. it is important to remember that stokely loves dr. king deeply. tavis: this may sound like an indictment on this generation and, if it comes across that way, maybe it is deliberate and
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unapologetic -- at a dinner party not that long ago, we were talking about how we do not measure up. are not our parents. we are not our great-grandparents. i was coming to the point that you made about what stokely was doing when he was 23 and 24. he was not the only one. there are a whole lot of these brothers and sisters. the list goes on and on. king was young and malcolm was young. you look at what we are doing today and not doing today and ,hat they were doing back then compare and contrast that for me. ofthere are historic times movements and things have transformed. they did so much to help the
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african american community and the vestiges of racism were defeated. the new generation has had a tough time confronting the challenges that remain. they did heroic work. civilis a narrative about rights that is the beginning, the middle, and the end. too many of us have bought into tha. -- that. tavis: how dangerous is that narrative? >> hugely dangerous. dr. king was a huge freedom fighter and so was stokely carmichael. he did not just want to elect a president. they wanted to speak truth to power. it was not about one man. it was about millions of black people being liberated. tavis: my phrase, not yours.
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you are more elegant and eloquent. stokely gives up on america and leaves. why? because there is a poll from africa. from africa. he is also pushed out of the prontry because of cointel and his anti-war activism. he is pushed out of the country and pulled towards africa. tavis: persons who are younger may know him as kwame. >> those of the names of his mentors. mentors -- he becomes the embodiment of the pan-african revolution. dids: haddad stokely -- how
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stokely view democracy in america? >> he becomes a vibrant critic of american democracy and, as a young man, fall for a vision of radical democracy. by the time he is older, he comes to reject the notion of democracy and felt, like malcolm did, it is hypocrisy. tavis: we could do a whole show on this question and you could teach a seminar on this question. what are the most misunderstood things, all these years later, about carmichael? >> that he was not an activist. he was an angry young man. second, that he was anti-white. he is against institutional racism and never against white people. his call for black power somehow
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disrupted the civil rights movement. it really did not. it spoke truth to power to what so many millions of young people were feeling. it put a light on people who , people who were welfare rights activists, and, people in the international arena. -- one of the most appreciated personalities this country has ever produced. taking thatoseph is for us. if you have the courage, read this text. i recommend it for a better understanding of this great american. thank you for this. great to have you on the program. >> my pleasure. ♪ tatiana has the
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distinction of playing eight different characters in the hit bbc series, orphan black. a television critics association award. she is -- would look at a scene from "orphan black." >> strange people. >> thank you. >> are you making fun of me? >> i made that. >> no. >> good to see you. >> we love you. >> normally, i say do not do anything rash. >> it seems to be a trait. >> believe me, right now is the time to resist. we need a plan.
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tavis: i do not know if we should put out one or seven chairs. what can you tell me about the new clone? nothing. let's move on. is there anything? >> about jennifer? twois holding a middle of -- a mirror up to her condition. she shows what her future could be. really, she is facing her mortality and jennifer is a part of that. young, tavis: you are beautiful, and vibrant. how difficult is it to play that many characters? >> it is fun. it is tough because it is
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technically -- you know -- a bit of a nightmare. i think any actress would dive into this with joy. it is a dream role and it is written so, so well and specific. each character has their own voice, their own life, their own dream. tavis: it seems to be a paradise for a writer. there is a lot of leeway. >> i think it is that fun thing of working with the same campus and getting to explore it in different ways. the hair, makeup, and wardrobe team do the same thing. they work with the blank slate of me and then, how can they change how my face looks and the structure of things. it is very much a collaboration. tavis: television projects work at the speed of sound. you are constantly working on the next episode.
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how do you find the time -- what is your process? this is the "inside the actors studio" question. how do you get into the character? how do you find the time to get into the inner being of the character? >> it is a lot of work and then, i did a lot of them. v. of impro i say yes to the craziness of a situation. if i think about it too much, it is like, i am not that person. andactor can overthink destroyed the suspension of disbelief. it is about saying yes to committing to craziness and having fun in that. know that all of these people
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are within me. -- haveen you and me they put anything in front of you and you have said, i cannot play that? >> i feel like i'm constantly faced with these challenges. when allison, at the end of season one, watches ainsley die , i said, she would never do that. then, no, that is such a gift. you have to go into those things that are scary. tavis: i read somewhere, and i think that means it is real, that when you are on the set, depending on which character, you listen to different types of music that may be collaborative with the character? does that make sense? >> that is fact. and listening to electronic
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ambient music. there is a lot of different, you know, styles of music that i use for the characters. tavis: what does the music do for you when you are trying to get into the headspace? >> it is an internal rhythm. --re is a rhythm -- whatever that can be attributed to music. dan has always been important for me. being able to physically express the character through music and dance is another layer. internal music is musical theater. it gives a sense of drama. musical theater is very emotional. she has that going on and she pushes it down. there.till buzzing in tavis: have you done musical theater? >> i love it.
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singing is tough. it is a hard thing. tavis: i asked that question because hollywood is infamous for making you all seem like overnight sensations and that this all just happened in the last 24-48 hours. when you go into the back story, you have been doing this since you were nine. before we discovered you, what were we doing? -- you doing? >> television, film, all over canada and the united states. just working. it is nice to be on a project. you guys have a lot of say in what is going on. tavis: not that you have anything to do with that, because you have to look at the things that are coming your way and make sense for you -- but what do you make of the fact
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that this becomes the vehicle that introduces you? grateful. i took this job because i love the acting challenge of it and i knew it was a big risk. i also feel like i cannot be typecasted. people approach me with multiple characters and i do that for the rest my life. tavis: that isn't the worst thing. >> right. tavis: you have a growing audience and it is blowing up social media. i see the #everywhere. is resonating with the audience? of our fans are young women and it is exciting to see a story about young women that they can relate to.
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they can find something in themselves in each one of them. i think that it is unique in that way. it is a woman's story. it is from the female perspective and that is really unique and important. >> unique and important. is that empowering for you? >> absolutely. the writers give the complexity to these women in the way that they would give to any man. tavis: just inside joke. do not tell my staff that i told you this. i was looking at a list and somebody had made a mistake. they said that you were the star of black orphan. >> always. tavis: i know some black orphans. this is orphan black. it starts todd young a maslany -- tatiana maslany.
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>> i'm rolling in it. tavis: glad to have you on. that is the show for tonight. as always, keep the faith. ♪ girl ♪re my candy
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honey, you are my candy girl and you've got me wanting you. >> oh my god! >> for more information on the show, visit tavis smiley. time with may next the conversation with james conlon .
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>> and, by contributions to your station by viewers like you. thank you. >> more, pbs.
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% hello and welcome to this is us. i'm becca reed. a you tube sensation when they posted a thank you video to the preponderate. we there take a look at the video, and we will find out why people are willing to stand in lines a block long to get this ice cream. later we meet legendary surfer who has been on the job 50 years. we've got a lot of stories and it all starts now.


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